slide 1

Our Community

Community Science represents a network of leading community development practitioners and scientists in the United States and Europe, with offices in Maryland, Italy and Portugal. Our staff members are knowledgeable and experienced in a wide range of methods for supporting and evaluating community initiatives. Our staff has worked with diverse populations, both geographically and culturally, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders in rural and urban environments.

In addition to our staff and a national network of collaborating consultants, we have a core group of senior consultants who are widely recognized for their commitment and comprehensive work in providing research support, technical assistance, training, and grants management support in various substantive areas, including organizational and community capacity building, community organization, health promotion, violence prevention, substance abuse prevention, intergroup relations, cultural diversity and immigrant integration.  We also maintain our professional relations through involvement in several professional associations, including the American Evaluation Association, American Public Health Association, Association for Community Organization and Social Administration, National Community Building Network, and Society for Community Research Action.

Principal Associates


David Chavis, Ph.D.,is Principal Associate/CEO of Community Science. He is internationally recognized for his work in the implementation, support, and evaluation of community and systems change initiatives, including a distinguished career award from the American Psychological Association and the Outstanding Evaluation of the Year Award (with Kien Lee) from the American Evaluation Association (AEA).  The primary focus of his work has been the relationship between community development and the prevention of poverty, violence, substance abuse, and other social problems, as well as the design and implementation of community capacity building systems. He has led the evaluation of placed-based comprehensive community initiatives concerning substance abuse and community development at the national and local levels for the White House Office for National Drug Control Policy, US Department of Justice, US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and several other foundations, using methodologies that ranged from cross-case study to quasi experiment. He has also designed, managed, and implemented capacity building systems for community change initiatives. Before founding Community Science, David Chavis was a community organizer, community development corporation executive director, director of large university research and public service center, and tenured university professor. He has been an officer and Board member of AEA and other nonprofit organizations. His current work focuses on the how to integrate innovation into the community change practices in order to have maximum impact at the appropriate scale. RESUME || EMAIL

Paul Florin, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island and an Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Brown University. For the past twenty-five years, he has been the director of the Community Research and Services Team (CRST) of the Department of Psychology of the University of Rhode Island. The CRST has, partnering with other community and state level organizations, procured over 37 million dollars in federal and foundation funding, 85% of which has been distributed directly to Rhode Island communities. Several five-year projects have been broad collaborative initiatives, involving the CRST, twenty to thirty-five Rhode Island communities and multiple state agencies. These collaborations have produced impacts such as Rhode Island becoming the seventh state in the nation to go "smoke free" with following declines in smoking prevalence and uptake and, more recently, significant state-wide declines (beyond secular trends) in underage drinking. The CRST publishes its evaluation studies, focused on training and technical assistance systems which build the capacity of communities and governmental units to plan, implement and evaluate prevention and health promotion interventions. Dr. Florin has also been a consultant around the design of community based prevention programs and training and technical assistance systems to national and international organizations including the National Cancer Institute, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, American Legacy Foundation, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Ministry of Health for the Providence of Ontario, Canada and the Center for Maori Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand. RESUME || EMAIL

Scott Hebert, MCP, Principal Associate. Over the past twenty years, Mr. Hebert's professional work has principally focused on evaluation and knowledge-building efforts. Mr. Hebert has conducted a wide range of evaluations, concentrating particularly on comprehensive community change (CCI), workforce development, and economic development initiatives. For the past six years, for example, he has been one of the key members of the cross-site Evaluation Team for the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Making Connections initiative, which was designed to improve community conditions and results for families and kids in tough neighborhoods. Mr. Hebert also previously directed the national evaluation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative, a ten-year effort to improve the employment and economic outcomes of disadvantaged young adults and families through workforce development system reform. He also served as Project Director and Co-Principal Investigator for the national evaluation of the Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZEC) Program for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to his evaluation work, however, Mr. Hebert has more than a dozen years of experience as a practitioner in the design and implementation of community revitalization programs at the local and state levels. He served as Director of the Massachusetts Small Cities CDBG Program, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Operations for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development. He also served as the executive director of a regional anti-poverty agency for five years. Building on this practical experience and his extensive knowledge of best practices, Mr. Hebert has provided strategic planning and technical assistance services to a wide range of community initiatives and local and state agencies over the past two decades. He also has co-authored a number of guidebooks and training manuals for federal and state agencies and philanthropies, as well as a wide range of evaluation reports and publications synthesizing the learnings from initiatives.  RESUME || EMAIL

Kien Lee, Ph.D., is Vice President and Principal Associate of Community Science with expertise in immigrant integration issues, racial equity strategies and programming, health disparities reduction, and development of cross-culturally competent organizations. She is recipient of the Society for Community Research and Action Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology, and recipient (with D. Chavis) of the Outstanding Evaluation Award from the American Evaluation Association. She has been a contributor to Maryland's immigrant integration policies, having served on a state-appointed workgroup on immigrants' access to government and Governor Martin O'Malley's Commission to Study the Impact of Immigration on Maryland. She has led the evaluation of initiatives and research studies that address community change due to demographic shifts for foundations, federal agencies, and nonprofits such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Connecticut Health Foundation, Dept. of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Dept. of Health & Human Services Office of Minority Health, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. Before joining Community Science, Dr. Lee assisted in the coordination and evaluation of initiatives that focused on community and coalition building, including the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's Community Partnership and Community Coalition Demonstration Grant Projects and the LISC's Community Building Initiative. Her current work focuses on how to build the capacity of community-based organizations to be better consumers of data as well as the measurement of immigrant integration and racial equity. RESUME || EMAIL

Ricardo Millett, Ph.D., Principal Associate, brings a formidable background to Community Science in providing program evaluation and strategic planning consultant services to foundations and non-profits.    He was formerly President of The Woods Fund in Chicago, where he developed and implemented a strategic grantmaking plan for the foundation that served it well in responding to the needs of Chicago least advantaged.  Prior to the Woods Fund Dr. Millett was Director of Program Evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  There, he focused on building greater communication and collaboration between evaluation and program staff to maximize the use of evaluation as an integral part of programming.  Before joining the Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Millett served as senior vice president of planning and resource management for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay in Boston. There, he was responsible for planning, allocation, and distribution of organizational resources to meet the needs of greater Boston. RESUME || EMAIL

Senior Associates

Oscar Espinosa, MA., has over 15 years of federal project management experience.  His primary area of expertise is program evaluation, including the development, collection, and reporting of performance measures used by Federal agencies to comply with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and other federal reporting requirements. Mr. Espinosa has conducted numerous literature reviews to identify metrics that appropriately measure grantee and funding agency performance relative to their mission; designed numerous data collection instruments, including interview and site visit protocols; and developed data collection clearance packages for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). For the last several years, Mr. Espinosa directed the evaluation of the Office of Minority Health's (OMH's) Resource Center (OMH-RC).  He led a review of all OMH-RC's products and other outputs, and based on those products, developed various data collection instruments to conduct an unbiased assessment of the quality and breadth of OMH-RC's services.  He also developed a customer satisfaction questionnaire that was used to query recipients of OMH-RC's information services.  Mr. Espinosa also has served as the lead evaluation technical assistance (TA) provider for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) health IT and patient safety grant portfolios. The TA included planning for and focusing grantees' evaluations and selecting appropriate evaluation designs and measures.  TA provision activities also focused on helping AHRQ to collect common and reliable data across all grantees that allowed the agency to satisfy its GPRA reporting requirements.  For a demonstration project funded by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention (CSAP), Mr. Espinosa provided TA to a drug prevention organization that serves a highly diverse recent immigrant population in DC.  For this project, Mr. Espinosa translated and pilot tested CSAP outcome measures instruments and collected survey data through bilingual interviews, questionnaires, and document reviews.  He tested survey instruments and outreach materials, and reviewed focus group protocols for cultural and developmental appropriateness. RESUME || EMAIL

LaKeesha N. Woods, Ph.D., Senior Associate, has extensive experience providing program development, evaluation, and consultation services.  Her research has focused on cultural influences on the development and functioning of youth and families of color; and culturally congruent preventive interventions for youth placed at risk.  She has provided clinical services to individuals in inpatient, outpatient, in-home, alternative school, and prison settings; and evaluation and consultation services to children and youth, family violence, and prisoner reentry programs.  Dr. Woods currently serves as an evaluator on The Colorado Trust's Equality in Health Initiative, ONDCP's Drug-Free Communities Support Program, OJJDP's National Safe Start Demonstration Project, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation Plain Talk Initiative.   RESUME || EMAIL

Evelyn Yang, PhDEvelyn Yang, PhD, Senior Associate, has over a decade of experience in research and evaluation, with expertise in community-based coalitions and collaboratives, community and systems change, and implementing and evaluating programs using participatory approaches. She directs the evaluations of the Transforming Prince George’s County Communities initiative (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the Port Towns Community Health Partnership (Kaiser Permanente), and directs the provision of technical assistance for the Global Libraries initiative (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Before joining Community Science, Dr. Yang served as Deputy Director for Evaluation and Research at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, where her work focused on facilitating partnerships between community coalitions and researchers. Her current work focuses on changing the built environment of communities as a way to promote the health of their residents, and on developing the capacity of community-based organizations to use research and evaluation findings to inform their change strategies. RESUME || EMAIL

Managing Associates

Julia Lee, Ph.D., Managing Associate, has experience in research, evaluation and health promotion in community settings. She has provided technical support for several health and social science research projects on health disparities, intimate partner violence, and community development. Ms. Lee has also worked extensively with community organizations, coalitions, as well as local schools on program evaluation and evaluation capacity building by providing technical assistance, education, and training on monitoring and evaluation, measurement, data collection, and reporting. She has served as the local evaluator for national and state-wide programs, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant. She currently provides technical and logistical support to research and evaluation projects on health equity, health disparities, and immigration integration.  RESUME || EMAIL

Sinead YoungeSinead Younge, PhD, Managing Associate, has expertise in adolescent and young adult health, sense of community, substance use, health disparities among racial/ethnic minorities, economic development, and community change initiatives. She is experienced in collaborative and participatory research and evaluation methods, and with collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data. Dr. Younge works with the Community Science Health Equity programs, and delivers evaluation capacity building services to community-based non-profits. She is currently working on the evaluations for the Connecticut Health Foundation, the National Partnership for Action to end Health Disparities, and the Youth Violence Resource Center Project  Before joining Community Science, Dr. Younge designed and implemented health equity research projects in the southwest region of Atlanta, Georgia and was an associate professor in the department of psychology at Morehouse College. Her current work focuses on health equity programs. RESUME || EMAIL

Associates

Jessika H. BottianiJessika H. Bottiani, PhD, MPH, Associate, has core content knowledge in the areas of culturally responsive mental health promotion and healthy built and social environments in under-resourced communities.  She has expertise in school, community, and health system-based approaches to reduce disparities in health and mental health outcomes and support more equitable, integrative, and culturally sustaining organizational practices.  In schools, she has particular fluency in youth violence prevention, supportive school discipline, and school-community partnership approaches reduce school’s disproproportionate use of exclusionary discipline among Black/African American youth. As a trainer and researcher with the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools Initiative (MDS3), a statewide initiative focused on school climate, student engagement, and school safety, she helped to adapt an observational measure of the school social environment and trained and recalibrated observers to implement it with reliability in all 58 schools. In communities, her past work includes working with nonprofits to develop, adapt, and evaluate community-based health and mental health prevention activities.  She is experienced in community-based participatory research for youth leadership development, cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions, and nonprofit capacity-building to conduct policy and systems change advocacy.  Before joining Community Science, she worked at The California Endowment to fund and build the capacity of key partners of The Hmong Health Collaborative, a project to improve the health of Central California’s Hmong community through health policy advocacy, community organizing, and cross-cultural exchange and education with regional health care systems.  Jessika completed her MPH in Maternal and Child Health in 2008 and her PhD in Mental Health in 2014 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. RESUME || EMAIL

Brandon Coffee-Borden, MPP, is an Associate at Community Science with expertise in the evaluation of initiatives designed to promote systems change and the well-being of low-income families and children. As part of the evaluation of the Children’s Bureau and HRSA’s Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting Program to Prevent Child Maltreatment initiative, he developed data collection protocols and co-managed data collection activities to understand systems change to support the implementation, scale-up, and sustainability of evidence-based home visiting services. In the evaluation of the Healthy Weight Collaborative, he collected and analyzed data to identify promising approaches to collaboration and systems change in an initiative comprised of 50 multisector, place-based teams engaging in activities to help communities address childhood obesity. In the Parents and Children Together evaluation, he provided training and technical assistance to build grantees’ capacity to use their data for program monitoring and continuous quality improvement. Before joining Community Science, Mr. Coffee-Borden worked as an evaluator on multiple projects examining community, state, and national initiatives. His current research interests lie in the use of data to inform program implementation and direct service practice, efforts to support systems and community change, and social and health disparities. RESUME || EMAIL

Brandi Gilbert, PhD, Associate, has used evaluation and research as tools to inform practice and policy in both the national and international context. Her past work has included research and evaluation on disaster preparedness among community-based organizations, volunteerism in higher education, housing recovery efforts following the Haiti earthquake, and women's involvement in technology-focused fields. Throughout her work, she has engaged with various entities such as schools, churches, community colleges and universities, government agencies, and community-based organizations. Her evaluation interests include education and youth, issues of social inequality, community and systems change, and disaster preparedness and recovery. Dr. Gilbert is experienced with various aspects of securing and conducting evaluation and research projects, including proposal writing, budget preparation and management, instrument development, procedures associated with the protection of human subjects, qualitative data collection and analysis, report preparation, and presentations to local and national level audiences. RESUME || EMAIL

Research Assistants

Rekha AnsariRekha Ansari, MPH, Research Assistant, assists with the data collection, quantitative and qualitative analyses, and reporting of findings for federal initiatives that deal with health disparities, mental health, and the wellness of young children. Prior to joining Community Science and through her position at the Fairfax County Health Department, she completed several research studies related to social and behavioral health among low-income immigrant populations. She also worked with a health technology company where she reviewed applications from healthcare professionals seeking funds to work in underserved areas of the country, and helped design a study to understand the causes of patient attrition.  Her master’s thesis explored the relationship between factors of acculturation and dietary and exercise habits among Latino youth. Ms. Ansari’s research interests lie in the field of physical activity, nutrition, overweight, and obesity, with a strong focus on women and children. RESUME || EMAIL

Margaret Paek, MPH, Research Assistant assists with data collection, analysis, and report writing at Community Science. She serves on the research and evaluation teams for a number of projects, including those addressing immigrant integration, financial literacy, and health disparities. She is conversant in collecting data through methods such as semi-structured interviews and surveys. Her work at the American Heart Association and the Center for Pan-Asian Community Services, Inc., before joining Community Science, involved her working at the community level to engage youth and adult members in health issues such as hypertension and tobacco use. Additionally, as a youth educator, she has disseminated wellness information and promoted health education for community residents who experience health disparities.  Ms. Paek's research interest lies in the use of data to inform community-based health promotion and programming RESUME || EMAIL

Administrative Staff

Hilary JonesHilary E. Jones, Director of Business Operations, has over 20 years of business management experience in a professional services environment. At Community Science, she is responsible for managing all back office functions to include financial management, strategic planning, contract administration, marketing and communications, human resources, facilities and administrative operations. Ms. Jones held a similar role prior to joining Community Science at The North Highland Company, a management and technology consulting firm. As a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, Ms. Jones managed programs and projects in the Global Health and Systems practice, and provided functional expertise in the areas of strategic planning and change management. As a Marketing Director at Hitachi Consulting, Ms. Jones led marketing and corporate communication programs to support revenue generation and growth through acquisition of small to midsized consulting companies throughout the U.S. Ms. Jones began her career at Macro International (acquired by ICF in 2009), progressing from a Research Assistant to management roles in survey research and program evaluation projects with Federal clients. Ms. Jones holds an M.B.A. in Management and Organization from the Robert H. Smith School of Business. EMAIL

Jane Taff, Office Manager, is responsible for the company's office administration and report production.  She supports staff on human resource topics, manages all travel, plans meetings and events, and assists the Director of Business Operations with financial and administrative duties.  Before joining Community Science, she was the Operations Manager of Hassle Free Home Improvements, with responsibility for human resource management, accounts payable and receivable, and overall office management.  She also spent thirteen years working for IBM Credit Corp in several capacities. EMAIL

Italia Network Office

Martini Associati, located in Lucca, Italia. WEBSITE || EMAIL

Portugal Network Office

Associação Portuguesa para o Estudo e Desenvolvimento Comunitário, located in Lisbon, Portugal || EMAIL

 

Maryland Main Office

Principal Associates:
    David Chavis
    Paul Florin
    Kien Lee

Senior Associate:
    Oscar Espinosa
    LaKeesha Woods
    Evelyn Yang

Managing Associates:
    Julia Lee
    Sinead Younge

Associates:
    Jessika H. Bottiani
    Brandon Coffee-Borden
    Brandi Gilbert

Research Assistant:
    Rekha Ansari
    Margaret Paek

Administrative Staff:
     Hilary E. Jones
    Jane Taff

New England Network Office

Principal Associate:
    Scott Hebert

Midwest Network Office

Principal Associate
    Ricardo Millett

Share |